Women Netters Split In-State Meets

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It was one of the most critical weekends in conference play for the U women’s tennis team, as it matched up against two in state rivals, BYU and Southern Utah University.

Defeating BYU would have put a dent in the conference standings, with a large U imprinted on it, as Utah would move up in a tie for fourth place with BYU before the Mountain West Conference Championships

However, losing leads and not finishing matches has plagued the Utes all season, and the cure could not come soon enough, as the Utes gave up many leads and eventually lost to the Cougars 5-2. Utah was able to salvage the weekend by completely destroying the Thunderbirds 7-0.

The split now puts the Utes’ record at 9-12, however, now they are just 2-5 in conference play.

“Losing our early leads was the reason for the loss,” said U coach John Tsumas. The entire match was epitomized by Allison Hansen’s and Irini Kotoglou’s doubles loss, as they were up 4-0, but then gave up the next 8 points and lost the match 8-4 to Dominique Reynolds and Lu Oswald.

Giving up that lead took the air out of the Utes, and when Ellen Svensson and Cassie Kasteler went down in a close match to Nicole Schneider and Lindsay Ferrell 9-7, the Utes were down and out for the count.

After losing to BYU, the only way the Utes could come out of the weekend with a smile would be by destroying Southern Utah, and that is exactly what they did.

“This win is going to give us some confidence going into the Boise State match [on April 20],” Tsumas said.

There was not one close battle in the entire match between SUU and Utah. Every Ute player dominated the Thunderbird netters. Southern Utah did not win more than two games in any set of a singles match or an entire doubles match.

Svensson was the player in this match to take the No. 1 singles position, and she did not disappoint, as she defeated Katie Zobrist 6-2, 6 2. Sheri Esrock easily defeated Kendra Gleason 6-0, 6-2, while Kotoglou shut down Ashlee Gardner in all aspects of the game, 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles competition, Kotoglou and Hansen defeated Gleason and Zobrist 8-2. Gardner got another taste of defeat, as Kasteler and Svensson dominated her and Crystal Holt 8-2.

The win may have given the Utes confidence, but the weekend loss to BYU hurt the Utes in the conference standings. The Utes will now face Boise State in another non-conference match before the Mountain West Conference Championships begin on April 25 in Provo.

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